Standing at the airport clutching my documents, as I looked at that boarding pass, I wondered what and how am I going to survive in my own hometown.
Weird? Well, not really. Being an NRI who was moving back to India after 21 years abroad, I was worried about how I will cope with all the challenges ahead.
And that’s why Mani Karthik’s Return To India Kit – actually, it’s a website that I stumbled upon – seemed extremely appealing to me.
Why It’s Handy
An NRI blogger living in Los Angeles, Mani has devised a DIY user guide for NRIs who want to make the big shift.
The website brings together some of the information and websites an NRI may need, and manages to simplify the necessary formalities involved.
This isn’t a copy-pasted guide, though: Mani makes it a point to add his own personal touch by blogging things that he has assessed himself. And the relevance and reliability makes this guide really useful.
Here are five of the tips from the survival kit which I found most important (and other home-bound NRIs will probably too).
Getting an Aadhaar Card
Getting yourself that all-important Aadhaar card should be a top priority. I remember standing in an unending line for mine. If only I had Mani’s guide back then, which leads you to the UIDAI site (something NRIs may be oblivious to). You do not have to queue up at all. Just apply online and it’s all sorted.
Jay Joshi, who recently shifted to Mumbai after having spent more than two decades in Dubai, gives his thumbs up to the Aadhaar card-related info on the website.
"I found the tips about Aadhaar and PAN card-related issues extremely useful and succinct,” he says.
Start Your Own Start-Up!
And there are also some words of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs.
You may be rolling your eyes already, mumbling, “If only setting up a start-up was that easy.” True, but the guide is a handy primer. And it also keeps it real: the tips offered are practical and do not make exaggerated claims.
From what are the questions you need to keep in mind to framing your strategy to different funding options – the website explains some of the issues you may have to navigate.
Mani promises to help people with all that he learns during his journey. And the advice on getting an internet connection are a pure blessing from his kitty.
His blog lists down the top eight broadband plans with rate cards included! Easy comparison, all in one place.
Coping With the Chaos
For Rachana Tahiliani, an NRI living in Dubai, the most worrying aspect about a possible move to India would be the chaotic life that awaits her.
The website factors this in, and offers a solution that may work. Opting for a TED Talk with Devdutt Pattanaik, Mani attempts to make the transition to life in India smoother.
Moving Your Things
If you are living in the US, this one’s a relieving post. It gives you the top 10 shipping companies that you could use whilst moving. They will handle it for you.
Have to transfer a large amount of money back home for your sister’s wedding but wondering how to do it? The 10 remittance options listed and explained on Mani’s blog may come handy here.
They help you understand bank wire transfer, online transfer, different factors that may affect your exchange and more.
Moving to a place you always called home but never really knew well enough may be daunting. Hopefully, the Return To India Kit will make your back-to-my-roots journey easier.